Needless to say, consumers’ shopping habits have changed during the last year. When stores were being forced to close down even the most reluctant shoppers were lured to online shops instead. But the question is -- did eCommerce simply spike or is this part of the new normal that retailers will need to adapt to?
COVID accelerated online shopping by years
Online shopping was growing fast even before the pandemic. However, one retail category was lagging behind the development and it wasn’t just any retail category - it was the biggest of all: Food.
Accounting for nearly half of retail sales, food is the biggest retail category, yet the segment has lagged in online penetration in large parts of the world. But then...boosted by the pandemic, food retailers saw online sales jump an average of more than 300% in the first several months of the crisis, according to The Food Industry Association. However, this development probably isn't here to stay. According to Nordea Equity Research “groceries are the most difficult product to offer profitably online – an average food basket contains around 40-50 items, each with a relatively low average selling price and needing to be picked individually, then bundled for home delivery, keeping some items frozen, others chilled and some ambient.” In addition, not everyone has loved the online grocery shopping experience. In the UK, 33% of the home-delivery users were “very satisfied” while just five percent reported being “strongly dissatisfied. In France, Italy, and Germany however, only 13-16% of home-delivery users felt satisfied. The UK, China, and South Korea have a significantly higher online share of food retail than the rest of the world due to the relatively high population density, a high tech savviness in the population in general, and a high online penetration for other categories. Grocers in these countries were thus better equipped to respond to surges in online demand and able to provide a better shopping experience than other grocers who didn’t have the infrastructure to serve the surge of online consumers.
Of course, food isn’t the only retail category that has experienced a spike since the virus outbreak. Globally, the ecommerce sector has seen a dramatic rise in its share of all retail sales. For instance, the US saw an increase in online retail sales of 32.4% year over year in 2020, accelerating ecommerce by two years. In Britain, consumers spent a total £113 billion online throughout 2020, a rise of 48% on the year before. According to UN trade and development experts UNCTAD, the global eCommerce sector experienced a rise in its share of all retail sales, from 16% to 19% in 2020. While some of the new shopping habits are here to stay, brick-and-mortars are not heading the way of the dinosaurs just yet. According to Forbes, an informal survey of social media posts shows that, in addition to visits with family and friends or holiday get-aways, going shopping in person was high on many peoples’ wish lists back in March. However, shoppers have returned with new and increased expectations of shopping convenience and experience, which puts new demands on retailers.
Dynamic mapping is the retail game changer
Dynamic mapping platforms play an important role in the future of offline shopping as they make in-store shopping easier and more convenient for consumers and offer a number of possibilities for retailers.
Shoppers no longer want to wander the endless ailes trying to find the items they are looking for. They want hassle-free shopping. With a dynamic mapping platform like MapsIndoors, you can guide them directly from their front door to the product on the shelf with no distractions or wrong turns along the way. By integrating MapsIndoors with your existing third-party data systems you can show customers if a product is in stock and where exactly it is placed in your store. MapsIndoors provides them with outdoor to indoor navigation wayfinding all the way from their doorstep to the product on the shelf, improving the shopping and omnichannel experience. But there is more…
When shoppers are guided directly to the items they are seeking, it can be difficult to create additional sales. However, a dynamic mapping platform is the perfect foundation for geofence marketing, allowing you to provide shoppers with relevant offers based on the items they are looking at. Like this, MapsIndoors empowers you to offer shoppers a convenient and personalized shopping experience at the same time.
Another benefit of a dynamic mapping platform is insights into customer flows. When you know how people are moving around in your store, you can optimize your shopping spaces and placement of products accordingly.
Many retailers underestimate the importance of digital and mobile devices and the influence they have on the brick-and-mortar retail experience. But the digital transformation is not bad news for retailers. It represents new opportunities to engage and connect with shoppers throughout the different stages of their shopping experience.
With MapsIndoors, you allow your customers to build shopping lists and create personalized routes through your shop long before they actually walk through the door. Once at the shop, you can engage with them all the way through the aisles and when they return home, you can send them additional offers and suggestions based on the last visit to your supermarket. As a result, you are in the forefront of your customer’s minds before, during, and after their shopping trip and you enhance the relationship with your customers making it more likely that they will return to your shop.
Has your interest been piqued? If you want to learn more about MapsIndoors and the benefits a dynamic mapping platform can offer your business, feel more than free to reach out to our experts to discuss your needs.
Looking for more inspiration? Take a look at our MapsIndoors blog.